Timor-Leste flag
Timor Leste Map
  • RURAL DEVELOPMENT
  • SECURITY, RECONSTRUCTION AND PEACE
  • GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY
  • ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
  • ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EMPLOYMENT

Timor-Leste

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working in Timor-Leste on behalf of the German Government since 2000. Currently 39 national and 8 international employees, 1 integrated specialist are working in the country (as of 31.12.2017). The GIZ office in the capital Dili opened in 2012.

Timor-Leste is one of the poorest countries in South-East Asia. In 1975, it declared independence, ending Portuguese colonial rule, but was annexed by Indonesia the same year. After a referendum in 1999, which produced an overwhelming majority in favour of independence, pro-Indonesian militia forces and the Indonesian army destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure, and more than 1,000 people lost their lives. After intervention by the United Nations, Timor-Leste finally achieved independence on 20 May 2002.

The World Bank classes Timor-Leste as a lower middle-income country. Despite high revenues from oil and gas extraction, half its people live below the national poverty line. The rural regions are home to around three-quarters of its population of more than one million; outside the capital, however, the infrastructure is inadequate. Most rural dwellers scrape a living from subsistence agriculture. There are very few jobs available in the formal economy. As a result, many people – particularly the young – are migrating out of the rural regions. The legacy of the Indonesian occupation still poses challenges for society.

Timor-Leste’s Strategic Development Plan recognises peacebuilding as an important cross-cutting topic. In this context it places particular emphasis on addressing the needs of socially marginalised groups and creating employment in rural areas.Cooperation between Germany and Timor-Leste focuses on peacebuilding. GIZ supports the efforts being made by the Government of Timor-Leste to promote social cohesion and peaceful development. Priority areas of cooperation are:

  • Peacebuilding
  • Employment promotion for marginalised groups in rural areas
  • Vocational training, youth development and the fight against corruption.

Other projects focus for example on providing advisory services and training in the maritime sector and on climate change.